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Old August 18th, 2013, 06:09 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,069
Melin Help Needed Please

I have a Steadicam Merlin for use with my Sony VG20 and use it with either 16mm or 12mm lenses. I get it out occasionally at weddings but am always less than happy with the results. The camera is perfectly balanced with good drop time etc - exactly set up as in the manual/online guides and doesn't sway much but..... I cannot seem to get over the 'bob' movement as I walk - I'm sure it's a technique thing but I've practiced for hours on end and even though smoother than hand held - it still looks like you can see the camera is being held by someone walking it seems to slightly 'bob' up and down with each step - completely unlike some of the smooth gliding I've seen online. Also as a solo shooter I find I don't have much time for these shots as I still consider them 'experimental' and so my main concern is playing safe.

I keep looking for courses in the UK to no avail - It would be money well spent if I could find one!

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Old August 18th, 2013, 06:30 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,470
Re: Melin Help Needed Please

As a quick fix for your technique you might like to try a couple of fitness wrap weights strapped around your wrist to offer a bit more inertial resistance to your walking movements. Any beneficial effect may disappear quickly as you will soon build added fitness to compensate if you use it a lot. However it might also help train you to a more gliding motion.

I imagine you are already doing this - holding your arm in a similar position as the iso-elastic arm of the larger vest bourne steadycam arrangement. If you hold your arm out directly in front of you, the accelleration and decelleration movements of normal gait may be transferred directly to your hand. However, if you hold your hand in closer to your body, the natural float introduced by holding your hand well out from your body may also be lost. It is a matter of discovering the compromise position which works best for you. You may become weary and sore fairly soon with the added weight on your wrist.

Another way to practice a gliding gait and posture will be to carry a large mug of water in your hand to find the best elbow and wrist-bend positions to no longer spill it. Be mindful that people may contemplate you in strange ways when you do this and maybe liken your movements to the Groucho Marx Duckwalk.

Please do not pay dedicated regard to my comments. I can't speak for the Steadycam Merlin but only for a device I made for myself which had fixed adjustable trim weights top and bottom but otherwise worked similarly.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 18th, 2013 at 07:00 PM. Reason: ADDED URL
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